Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pregnancy via IVF could make women 50% more likely to suffer pre-eclampsia complication (?)

Many women who need to use IVF may have other health problems so that alone could account for such things as pre-eclampsia. Saying that IVF CAUSES pre-eclampsia is just the usual epidemiological hubris. Some reasonable comments in the last 3 grafs below

Mothers who have IVF are almost 50 per cent more likely to suffer pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy than those who conceive naturally, researchers say.

A study in the U.S. found that pregnant women who have had fertility treatment are at greater risk of the condition, which can be lethal to mother and child.

One of the most common causes of premature birth in the UK, pre-eclampsia affects 70,000 British women every year. It is characterised by high blood pressure and can lead to convulsions, blood clots, liver damage and kidney failure. Mothers who suffer from the condition are usually prescribed drugs to lower their blood pressure and told to stay in bed.

Doctors hope such a treatment will reduce the stress on the baby and give it a chance to thrive before the birth, which usually involves a Caesarean section.

Melinda Messenger, the television presenter, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the singer, both had emergency surgery after pre-eclampsia diagnoses. They both delivered healthy sons, but many families are not so fortunate: pre-eclampsia claims the lives of up to 1,000 babies and ten mothers a year.

There were 42 per cent more cases in women who had conceived using IVF, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual conference heard. Researchers could not be certain why, but said the process of growing the embryo in the lab first might cause 'subtle changes' in the development of the placenta.

The placenta is the organ which provides a baby with oxygen and nourishment as it grows in the womb. Problems with the placenta can trigger further abnormalities in the mother's body during pregnancy, then the baby's, leading to pre-eclampsia.

Charles Kingsland, of the British Fertility Society, said age could also be a factor in the development of the condition.

He said that women who have IVF are often older than those who conceive naturally and may already have medical problems which increase their risk of developing it.

He urged women having IVF not to worry but added: 'We need to be aware that in this group of patients, who may be older, who may have difficulty in getting pregnant, that it doesn’t follow that just because you have got pregnant that everything else is going to be easy.'


Can aromatherapy oils poison you? How tiny particles 'may damage liver and kidneys'

This should put a rocket up the "alternative" people

They are meant to soothe aches and pains, relieve stress and induce a sense of relaxation. But aromatherapy oils may in fact do more harm than good, according to scientists. They have claimed that the extracts – used in baths, massages or burned in rooms – react with the air to produce tiny irritant particles.

Researchers found that when the so-called essential oils were used in relaxation spas for massages, the concentration of these potentially harmful particles increased tenfold.

The scientists said that certain chemicals in the oils, called volatile organic compounds, mix with the air to form secondary organic aerosols. These particles irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and are also known to cause headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver and kidneys.

This study only examined the size and number of these particles released when people had massages in spas. However other research has shown they are also produced by burning essential oils in the home or office – although not to the same extent.

Essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and peppermint are extracted from plants and trees. The oils are thought to have a number of health benefits, including improving the skin, boosting the immune system and helping with sleep.

But the scientists from the Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan, warn that the negative effects ‘cannot be neglected’.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Engineering Science, measured the volumes of certain secondary organic aerosols when oils were rubbed in during massages in two spas in Taiwan. Oils which generated the highest number of aerosols were lavender, tea tree, peppermint, lemon and eucalyptus.

The scientists concluded: ‘As aromatherapy, used by the general public and some health institutes, has become one of the most popular complementary therapies, its impact on indoor air quality and health effects cannot be neglected.

‘Volatile organic compound degradation caused by the reaction of these compounds with ozone present in the air can produce small, ultrafine by-products called secondary organic aerosols which may cause eye and airway irritation.’

They added: ‘We compared secondary organic aerosol levels associated for the various fragrant and herbal essential oils tested and conclude that the layout and ventilation within a particular spa may affect the level of indoor air pollutants produced during massage with aromatherapy.’

In 2007, another group of scientists also from Taiwan showed that burning tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus oils in the office also produced large numbers of these harmful particles.

Aromatherapy oils have also been found to worsen breathing problems in those with lung disease and to increase symptoms of asthma. And nurses have reported that they can cause skin burning and rashes – often because people put far too much into their baths or on to their skin.

Britons spend around £126million on aromatherapy products and herbal medicines every year. Sceptics argue that many of the perceived benefits of the oils are caused by a placebo effect – and people just convince themselves they feel calmer and more relaxed. They also say there is little scientific evidence that they can relieve pains, cure wounds or boost immunity.


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